Report from recent meetings of Muncie Community Schools Board of Trustees:
Non-college career opportunities
The Board spends the first part of one meeting a month with presentations by education related groups. Several presentations have focused on non-college opportunities for Muncie students. One is through Vincennes University, with programs complementing the Career Center and Ivy Tech options. Another one is through Sustainable Muncie and its Purdue polytechnic programs such as robotics, quality control engineering and computerized engineering.
There are not enough properly trained Muncie students to meet local employment demands at companies like Progressive Rail, Muncie Power Products, Magma and others.
While there are county district students in the Sustainable Muncie program, there are no Central students. The Board conducted a lengthy discussion about how to make more students and families aware of these opportunities. A gateway program is needed at the Middle Schools as well as career discussion in elementary grades.
Work must start soon if these programs and opportunities are to be included in the MCS plan presented to the State of Indiana by June 2020.
Board members are attending many meetings related to the district’s leadership search. In early January they extended the timeline for proposals to encourage a wider range of search companies to apply. The Board will hold a leadership retreat in the near future for discussion with an outside consultant.
CHS Graduation Rate
A year ago, Central High School (CHS) reported a dismal 78.42 graduation rate when a state audit revealed inadequate documentation for 61 students who left for various reasons. With renewed attention to documentation, the 2018 rate improved to 94.1%. Chris Walker, CHS principal said, “Our rate will always be lower because we include special needs students who receive certificates of completion rather than the 40 credit general diploma.”
Building upkeep and repairs
Board member Jim Lowe is applying his BSU facilities expertise to the MCS buildings. He proposes a spreadsheet for each building listing both short and long-term projects. He shared the BSU spreadsheet for Worthen Arena as an example.